Wednesday, November 23, 2016
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We're all broken and we're covering it up. It's just too risky to come out from behind that mask, the wall that we've put up to keep people out, because we don't really want to see what's behind it. For sure we don't want anyone else to see it. We keep it until someone else takes their mask off; speaking transparently from their own brokenness. In essence, they give us permission to face our own hurt, to face our own darkness. Remember, Jesus said, "You will know the truth and the truth will scare you to death." No, He didn't say that. He said, "set you free" (John 8:32).
I watched it happen on 11 pain-and-poverty-hardened Indian reservations this past summer. I've seen it happen when I've opened up about my very broken heart; broken by the sudden loss of my Karen a few months ago. She was the irreplaceable love of my life. And I have seen the singular power of brokenness to break through to the hardest closed hearts, including some who may be very close to us. Because an open heart opens hearts.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Beautiful Brokenness."
These amazing young people I traveled with this past summer, 48 Native Americans bringing the hope they have found to some hope-starved places where the walls frankly are high around these wounded hearts of reservation young people. Abuse, anger, addictions, all the dying around them; man, they try to protect themselves by closing down. Nobody's going to get in.
These team members get that. They've lived it. Their stories would break your heart. Until they get to the turning point - Jesus. That brown-skinned, tribal man whose death for their sins and whose death-beating resurrection power changed everything. Because of Him, things just don't have to be the way they've always been. And that's called hope.
Through them, I was an eye witness to watching hundreds of Native young people do what Native young people don't do. They stepped out to declare they were choosing Jesus. What broke through where nothing has? It was their stories, in one-on-one conversations, from center court speaking - often with tears - about the darkest, most personal moments of their lives so they could tell about their Jesus.
And they broke through the walls, again and again, because they brought Jesus, wrapped in their own brokenness because that's how He came. Listen to the Bible's words in our word for today in the Word of God in Isaiah 52:14, and then out of chapter 53, verses 3-5. "He was rejected, a man of sorrows, despised, afflicted, disfigured, pierced, crushed." A broken Savior for broken people like me.
At our national conference for Native young people, I told about Jesus through my freshly broken heart. You know, when there was an opportunity for those young people to choose my Jesus, it was the largest response we've ever seen at the conference. Open hearts open hearts!
The walls and masks that we put up to hide our brokenness often cannot be breached by persuasion, debate, even Scripture unless the messenger comes broken with hope to share. A marriage can be saved, a child, a friendship, a soul – if someone is willing to come from behind their mask, their walls and their defenses, and simply let their heart do the talking.
That's when Jesus turns my hurt into hope for someone else. It's how my Jesus – who said He "came to bind up the brokenhearted" – does His life-restoring miracle. He turns my "ashes" into what He calls a "crown of beauty" (Isaiah 61:3).